As we draw towards the end of the year, it’s always interesting to review what products or services sold well to whom around the world.
It’s also a time when we try to foresee opportunities for the next year ahead.
I’m a big believer in learning from the market, in order to be best-placed to deliver according to its demands.
For me and my business, the trends that have been of particular interest include:
- The rise in global tourism and “authentic” holidaymaking.
- Wearable technology.
- Mobile technology.
- API usage and the importance of localisation.
I recently had a very pleasant Sunday morning reading through Euromonitor’s latest report on trends and predictions for the tourism industry, and how some people are now taking localisation to a whole new level.
While I strongly advocate the importance of local culture and adapting to it, it seems that consumers now want to get really “local” on their holidays around the world.
The rise of Airbnb is one obvious example of this, but there has also been significant interest in travellers choosing to take their meals in private homes, hosted by regular families in regular communities.
With the help of various websites and apps, holidaymakers looking for more authentic local culture can be paired with willing hosts who can provide cooking lessons and meals, and afterwards, meal visitors can review their hosts in terms of food quality, venue and cleanliness.
To me, this signals advancements in both the leisure industry and in the technology industry, in being able to provide localised and fit-for-purpose software and devices to meet consumer needs.
The increased popularity of sites such as Airbnb has paved the way for new apps which have been built to respond to a demand from the ‘sharing economy‘.
Indeed, being into my gadgets, I’m really excited about the new wave of wearable technology we can expect to see on the market next year.
Some pieces are designed specifically with the traveller in mind (ever considered that your watch could also be your hotel room key?), while developments like Google Glass and the Apple Watch have been on the cards for some time.
However, that’s not to overlook the impact of and developments in mobile technology of course, as often the two can go hand-in hand.
What interested me the most about the sales reports produced relating to Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year was the rise of purchases made through mobile devices.
Depending on whose figures you look at, proportions of all transactions made via mobiles vary from 20-40% (check the Econsultancy Internet Statistics Compendium for up-to-date figures).
That’s a staggering amount, when to think not so long ago most of us barely had access to the internet on our phones.
In order to facilitate many of these transactions APIs are now absolutely commonplace. But the sites that are most successful are those that are able to localise themselves according to their market, including accurate and relevant translations.
Instant translation for instant messages and cultural empathy in communication are vital to connecting with foreign markets.
So while globalisation may have been last year’s buzzword, we think localisation is what’s going to stick around.
For more on this topic, read our posts on best practices for website localisation and the importance of data personalisation and localisation.